Berk's Blog - 08/09/13
By Mike Berk follow on twitter @mike_berk
In training camp, the quarterbacks face very little pressure, they never get hit, and for the most part, they know the defense they are facing. When you see a young signal caller performing well in camp, it has to be taken with a grain of salt, because you just don't know how it will translate into a game situation.
Fifth year pro Josh Johnson out of San Diego has performed well enough in camp to shoot past John Skelton and into the back-up role to Andy Dalton. But, "just come to the game," Bill Parcells once told me. Ok, we did, and Johnson looked great!
In the Bengals preseason opener Thursday night in Atlanta Johnson looked sharp. He completed 9 of his 16 passes for 100 yards including a 21 yard touchdown to Brandon Tate, which threaded a needle down near the goal line. But Johnson made his biggest impact on the ground, averaging 16 yards per carry, while looking effortless in ripping off a 41-yard burst.
It's a very small sampling in a preseason game against Atlanta's 2nd team defense, but its better than a performance which leaves fans wondering what would happen if Andy Dalton missed a snap, or a game, or more.
*** Dane Sanzenbacher made two electrifying plays in the second half. First he returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Then he hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass from John Skelton, who hit the 3rd year product from Ohio State in stride as he streaked past the Falcons secondary. As Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden's brother, Jon, said during the telecast, "the kid helped himself tonight".
So did Josh Johnson.
That's what these preseason games are all about.
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 08: Josh Johnson #8 of the Cincinnati Bengals passes against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)